Saturday, April 10, 2021

Harmonies and Humor

With spring in the air, we're scheduling time each day to get away from the drawing table, breathe outdoor oxygen, and absorb some vitamin D. We're hoping to spend today outdoors tending to yard maintenance, so our post will be a little briefer than usual.

This week's pipe pic, modeled by Tennesee Ernie Ford (1919-1991), comes from our vinyl archives. My copy of his terrific 1957 album, Ol' Rockin' Ern is in an unusual format: It's spread over three 45 rpm EPs. Each disc has the same cover photo, offering triple the viewing pleasure.

Today, Ford is mainly remembered for his 1955 recording of the Merle Travis song "Sixteen Tons," but prior to that unexpected hit, he became a household name after a few TV appearances as "Cousin Ernie" on I Love Lucy.

It's tough to compete with Ernie's friendly smile and immaculate pencil mustache, but we're here to show you the week's comics, so let's give it a go.

We hope we're able to come up with more hyena gags in the future, because hyenas are fun to draw.

Tuesday's panel was unexpectedly challenging. I wanted to draw the witness and artist realistically, in contrast to the goofy caricature. I intended to portray human features a caricature artist could latch onto, without making him look like a cartoon to begin with.

Wednesday's panel required photo research, and I believe the statue as depicted is relatively true to scale.

The neighbors complained about his baying at the full moon, but now he's fully house trained.
Your Bizarro trivia: The logo on the box of "Howl" biscuits is based on the original 1956 edition of Allen Ginsberg's poetry collection, as published by City Lights Books.
Alas, reality is seldom as stately as fiction, and these tools are colorful but ineffective.
Perhaps it's time workshop some fresh material.
Thanks for dropping by for our weekly review, and please keep those comments and pipe pics coming in. Don't forget to visit Dan Piraro's weekly blog, where he shares whatever is on his always-inquisitive mind, along with commentary on the week's gags and a brand new Sunday Bizarro page.
Bonus Track

Although it lasts for just 90 seconds, this video is a favorite here at Bizarro Studios North. Tennesee Ernie harmonizes with the Everly Brothers, and the three of them simultaneously play one guitar.

I've been a fan of the Everly Brothers for many years, and was lucky enough to see them perform live on their 1985 reunion tour.

Their sense of style was as big an influence as their music, and when my own band plays live, I often wear a "continental crossover" tie in honor of Don and Phil.


  1. Of course, I had to look it up . . . I never knew he had a sense of humor . . .

  2. That video reminded me of something I saw on TV back in the late '70s or early '80s. I think it was on the Merv Griffin show. It was Steve Martin and someone else (possibly his manager) playing Foggy Mountain Breakdown on the banjo with one using his right hand and the other using his left hand. I don't know if you've ever tried to do that, but it's incredibly hard. I've attempted to find that clip on YouTube with no success.